Dose calculation accuracy of the Monte Carlo algorithm for CyberKnife compared with other commercially available dose calculation algorithms

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2011


Monte Carlo dose calculation algorithms have the potential for greater accuracy than traditional model-based algorithms. This enhanced accuracy is particularly evident in regions of lateral scatter disequilibrium, which can develop during treatments incorporating small field sizes and low-density tissue. A heterogeneous slab phantom was used to evaluate the accuracy of several commercially available dose calculation algorithms, including Monte Carlo dose calculation for CyberKnife, Analytical Anisotropic Algorithm and Pencil Beam convolution for the Eclipse planning system, and convolution-superposition for the Xio planning system. The phantom accommodated slabs of varying density; comparisons between planned and measured dose distributions were accomplished with radiochromic film. The Monte Carlo algorithm provided the most accurate comparison between planned and measured dose distributions. In each phantom irradiation, the Monte Carlo predictions resulted in gamma analysis comparisons >97%, using acceptance criteria of 3% dose and 3-mm distance to agreement. In general, the gamma analysis comparisons for the other algorithms were <95%. The Monte Carlo dose calculation algorithm for CyberKnife provides more accurate dose distribution calculations in regions of lateral electron disequilibrium than commercially available model-based algorithms. This is primarily because of the ability of Monte Carlo algorithms to implicitly account for tissue heterogeneities, density scaling functions; and/or effective depth correction factors are not required.